Spaghetti Squash with Kale Pesto and Burrata

January 21, 2016
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This dish is fairly straightforward, with thoroughly enjoyable savory flavors. I appreciate the contrast in textures, with the creamy burrata cheese nestled amongst the springy tangles of spaghetti squash, both of which are topped with homemade parsley breadcrumbs. An added bonus is the fact that the kale pesto and the parsley breadcrumbs can both be made in advance. —Josh Cohen

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups cubed day-old bread
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
  • Olive oil (split three ways: 1 1/2 teaspoons, plus 1/2 cup, plus extra for roasting the spaghetti squash)
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and washed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 ball burrata cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Place the cubed bread on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet, and dry the bread in the oven for approximately 1 hour. To test if the bread is ready to remove from the oven, break a cube in half. If it is completely crunchy and dry, it is ready. If it is still soft in the middle, cook it longer. You are making breadcrumbs, so the bread must be completely dry and crisp. If the bread starts to get too dark and toasty, turn the oven down to 275° F. When the bread is done cooking, cool it on a rack, and transfer it to a food processor. Pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the parsley leaves along with 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil, and pulse until the parsley is blended in with the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a sealed container and set aside. These breadcrumbs can be made several days ahead of time and stored in a cool, dry place.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large mixing bowl ready with ice water. Blanch the kale for 1 to 2 minutes, until it is wilted. Transfer the wilted kale to the ice water. When the kale is chilled, remove it from the ice water. As you remove the kale from the ice water, squeeze out all excess water. Take an extra minute on this step and really do a good job of squeezing out all the excess water from the kale. This will improve the taste and texture of your pesto.
  3. Transfer the kale to a food processor. Add the Parmigiano, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Pulse in the food processor until it looks like pesto. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse. Taste. Adjust as necessary with more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice. Set the finished kale pesto aside. This pesto can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Drizzle olive oil over the flesh of the squash so that it is barely coated with oil. Season with salt. Place the squash flesh-side down on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Roast the squash for approximately 50 minutes, until the flesh feels tender when pierced with a fork. Remove the squash from the oven, and when it is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the flesh of the squash. As you scrape the flesh of the squash, it should loosen and look like tangles of noodles. Transfer these tangles of squash to a large mixing bowl. Discard the skin of the squash. Toss the squash with the kale pesto. Taste it, and adjust with salt and/or lemon as necessary.
  5. To serve, arrange small nests of squash on a plate, leaving some negative space. Tear small pieces of burrata cheese and place the pieces of cheese in the empty spaces on the plate. Sprinkle a light dusting of breadcrumbs over the dish. Save any extra breadcrumbs for another use. Garnish with a thin drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jessica Tang
    Jessica Tang
  • Katie Menzel Ellis
    Katie Menzel Ellis
  • meganvt01
  • Josh Cohen
    Josh Cohen
  • liz andrew
    liz andrew

10 Reviews

Jessica T. October 6, 2016
Such an amazing recipe. Tasted so light and flavorful. Will definitely make it again!
Kris October 5, 2016
How many cups of breadcrumbs will 3 cups cubed bread yield? I have breadcrumbs from an existing recipe that I'd like to use for this one.
Elizabeth S. July 7, 2016
I would love to try this recipe but have never seen burrata at the store. Any recommendations on how to find it?
Josh C. July 7, 2016
Hi Elizabeth,

If you do not have access to high quality burrata cheese, I would recommend using dollops of fresh ricotta instead. Or, if you are able to buy a high quality fresh mozzarella, you can use hand-torn pieces of mozzarella.
Katie M. April 10, 2016
This was really tasty! Easy to put together and a big hit at our dinner party last night.
meganvt01 January 31, 2016
Just made this. Absolutely delicious.
Fiona M. January 27, 2016
Oh my lord, this is a new exciting alternative to shaved fennel lemon zest and mint tussled over burrata. Cant wait to try this!!
Adam G. January 27, 2016
This sounds delicious, I can't wait to make it!

One comment, I'd put the squash in the oven as the first step, just to get it started, and then prep the pesto as it's cooking.

Just trying to help with the timing of the recipe. I constantly make spaghetti squash as a sort of 'low-carb alternative' to pasta and one thing to keep in mind is that when it's fresh out of the oven it's almost too hot to handle. (as noted in the recipe)

Spaghetti squashes are a favorite of mine to make during the week, hence my suggestion to try and streamline the cooking process/sequence
liz A. January 28, 2016
good point! i think the reason he arranged it this way though is because the first two steps are ones that you can do way ahead of time. so essentially, the squash *is* the first thing to be made and used thereafter.
liz A. January 28, 2016
by two steps i meant the two components ha (breadcrumbs and pesto)